Indian tea exporters expect an export boom

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Siliguri, May 13 (ANI): Tea exporters in Siliguri are in a joyous mood, as demand for Indian tea in the world market goes up, with competitors Sri Lanka and Kenya engaged in domestic problems.

The demand for Indian tea has considerably gone up even as there is a marginal drop in supply in the international market.

Kenya, the world's largest tea exporter, has seen a shortfall in tea production due to a drought and political unrest, whereas the ongoing civil war has severely hit the tea trade in Sri Lanka.

India faces competition from Sri Lanka and Indonesia in the traditional tea market, and in green teas from China, while Kenya and other African countries vie for the CTC export market.

Tea trade experts felt that the ongoing trend would help in reviving the Indian tea industry, which was experiencing a decline.

"The tea industry has been under recession for the last seven to eight years.

Last year, there was a boom. This year, we see another boom which would be very good and healthy for the tea industry," said Ravi Agarwal, an exporter and former Chairman of Siliguri Tea Auction Committee.

Due to the limited supply, the prices of the tea have gone up in the international market and exporters were optimistic of good exports.

"Prices of tea has already gone up by 30 to 35 rupees as compared to last year. I think there will be a very good market for the Indian tea industry," said Komal Kumar, another exporter of tea.

India, world's second largest producer of tea, exported 196 million kilogram of tea in 2008. By Tarak Sarkar (ANI)

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